How Visible Is Your Vision?

“Take my hand, embolden my heart…awaken within me the vast, undiscovered possibilities that are yet to touch my dreams.”

Imagine if an uninvited guest arrived at the gates of your institution tomorrow morning…

Now imagine…

How would they be received?  What would they would notice first?  What would be their initial reaction?  Would it be a positive first impression?

What if they continued in and were given access to walk the entirety of your organization…

What would they hear?  What would they see?  What would they feel?  What would stand out?  And, why?

Now imagine that very same guest stopped by your office on their way out and noticed the beautifully framed, well-articulated vision hanging prominently on the wall…

Would they acknowledge that vision with a slight nod and sly smile of approval?  Or would it be met with a puzzled look of confusion?  Would they be baffled by the disconnect, from the walk to the words…from the visible to the vision?

Which takes us to the core question…

How visible is your vision?  Is it just a document hanging on your wall?  Or is it a living and breathing part of your organization?  And, what examples exist that point to your vision being visible?

Great organizations make their vision visible, even when it is hidden….

Disney is a stunning example of one of those organizations.  Their vision lives and breathes within everything they do.  Whether hidden or prominent, subtle or overt, their vision is woven into the very design of everything they create…from the rides, to the attractions, to the movies, the products, and every inch of their theme parks.

You cannot visit Disneyland without experiencing their vision.  It touches and influences every inch of their organization.  It is a living, breathing part of them and what they do.

As leaders, we need to be that guest.  We need to walk our institutions and organizations as outsiders…honestly assessing whether our vision and our reality connect.  Looking for ways to infuse and weave that vision statement into a living, breathing part of the organization.

When our vision is visible…we feel it across the organization.  We welcome visitors.  We look for chances to show them our work…what we do, who we are.

Which may be the very reason that Disney’s motto is…“Be Our Guest.”


2 thoughts on “How Visible Is Your Vision?

  1. I am curious about your post and the last statement regarding Disney’s motto. Lots of places have a catchy motto, and a well articulated vision, but sometimes they do not coincide. I think that your point about “living” your vision is important. I should be able to walk into your school (s) and ask “what is your vision?”, and follow up with, “What are you doing to attain that vision?”. How many staff could do this in school? It is great if a leader knows it, but many think that is enough. Shouldn’t your community know it and live it as well? Staff, students, and parents? No vision will ever come alive unless it is lived by your organization. Otherwise the “vision” is not really that meaningful, and the “motto” is meaningless. Great if you are selling shirts, but I am guessing we want a little more from our schools 🙂

    Thanks for the post and your thoughts!

  2. I love your title quote, it is, as I Tweeted to you, utterly beautiful and captured such a vital sentiment perfectly for me.
    I hear what you are saying with this post. I had the opportunity to go to Educon (at Science Leadership Academy) this year and what struck me most was how closely all the observable actions and conversations within the school where manifestations of the school’s vision statement. The school vision was clear, visible and consistent in conversations I had with students, parents, and teachers. I went away thinking “So that is the power of a vision!” it was refreshingly obvious.

    I think sometimes in institutions we let our visions become diluted trying to cater to many interest groups.


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